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Johannesburg, South Africa

We returned from our island(s) adventures to mainland Africa and caught up with a great friend of ours, Fiona Royds, in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has a wonderful home here right near the city and she kindly let us stay with her for a few days.

Inside Fi's gorgeous apartment...

Inside Fi's gorgeous apartment...

Johannesburg has come in leaps and bounds from the occasionally dangerous and not so pretty place we saw it as in September 2007. It seems a lot safer and more friendly and there are some really nice areas to visit. It is also the BIGGEST MAN MADE FOREST IN THE WORLD!!!! – A stat to be very proud of.

Elissa, Kate (Fi's sister) and Fi enjoying the Westcliff hotel.

Elissa, Kate (Fi's sister) and Fi enjoying drinks by the pool at The Westcliff Hotel.

A stunning view from the high-class hotel Westcliff of north Johannesburg. You can see very few buildings because Johannesburg is the biggest man-made forest in the world!!!!

A stunning view from the high-class Westcliff Hotel of north Johannesburg. You can see very few buildings because Johannesburg is the biggest man-made forest in the world!!!!

When we say Joburg is safer we really mean it. For instance in the city centre there are security personnel on just about every corner to keep the streets safe. No doubt there because they hosted the World Cup, but there all the same.  Also a result of staging the biggest sporting event on the planet is the amazing train system called the Gautrain. This got us from the Airport to Sandton (East of the city) in only 12 minutes & for only $15AUD (or R100) one way (operates from 5am til 9pm from OR Tambo International Airport). Certainly quicker, nicer and cheaper than a taxi. However we also hired a car for a couple of days which was extremely handy as there isn’t a great deal of public transport to get you around the city and the train stations were quite a distance from where we were staying (20 min drive). With our own car, we were able to drive all through the city stopping to see things whenever we felt like it. The price was pretty reasonable too.

<p>Elissa and the Gautrain

Elissa with the Gautrain - every now and then a travel website needs to show a train...

We walked through the city and surrounding areas with Fi’s guidance and she revealed a new up and coming side to Joburg. There are some really trendy cafes and galleries (free which is always good) just on the outskirts of the city. You might need to get some help to find these places as we got lost even with a Joburgian!!!

This very contempory art gallery was free, which is always a bonus...

This very contempory art gallery was free, which is always a bonus...

Pete and Fi hangin out.

Pete and Fi hangin out. It had been a while!!

There's a nice cafe behind the olive tree in this funky, renovated industrial area.

There's a cafe in behind the olive trees in this funky, renovated industrial area. Very hard to find as the outside looks old and run down but certainly worth looking for.

More cool redone industrial buildings.There are many places close to the city that are a developers dream. Certainly happening now to and will do into the future...

More cool refurbed industrial buildings.There are many places close to the city that are a developers dream. Certainly happening now and will continue into the future...

There are some really nice malls particularly in the East ie Rosebank which also has a fantastic African Craft Market – selling all the African artefacts you can name…. Although we had spent 4months in this great continent, we found ourselves buying things we had seen sold all over the place, like on the streets of Kenya or Namibia. You can definitely haggle in this market too for a good deal. Don’t forget to go upstairs… no haggling here but some great things to buy such as African Paintings, and incredible skins from Kudu, Springbok etc….

There are some fantastic African craft here and for a last minute African items, it serves a great purpose...

There are some fantastic African craft here and for a last minute African items, it serves a great purpose...

We would like to thank our beautiful friend and amazing International Fashion Photographer Fi Royds for having us to stay and showing around your great and definitely unrated city of Joburg!!!!

Liss & Fi with the De Beers diamond shape building in the background.

Liss & Fi with the De Beers diamond shape building in the background.

Check out more photos in our Gallery:

 

 

 

 

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